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008
Publications

2020

Real-time GNSS precise positioning: RTKLIB for ROS

Authors
Ferreira, A; Matias, B; Almeida, J; Silva, E;

Publication
International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems

Abstract
The global navigation satellite system (GNSS) constitutes an effective and affordable solution to the outdoor positioning problem. When combined with precise positioning techniques, such as the real time kinematic (RTK), centimeter-level positioning accuracy becomes a reality. Such performance is suitable for a whole new range of demanding applications, including high-accuracy field robotics operations. The RTKRCV, part of the RTKLIB package, is one of the most popular open-source solutions for real-time GNSS precise positioning. Yet the lack of integration with the robot operating system (ROS), constitutes a limitation on its adoption by the robotics community. This article addresses this limitation, reporting a new implementation which brings the RTKRCV capabilities into ROS. New features, including ROS publishing and control over a ROS service, were introduced seamlessly, to ensure full compatibility with all original options. Additionally, a new observation synchronization scheme improves solution consistency, particularly relevant for the moving-baseline positioning mode. Real application examples are presented to demonstrate the advantages of our rtkrcv_ros package. For community benefit, the software was released as an open-source package.

2020

Underwater Localization System Combining iUSBL with Dynamic SBL in ¡VAMOS! Trials

Authors
Almeida, J; Matias, B; Ferreira, A; Almeida, C; Martins, A; Silva, E;

Publication
Sensors

Abstract
Emerging opportunities in the exploration of inland water bodies, such as underwater mining of flooded open pit mines, require accurate real-time positioning of multiple underwater assets. In the mining operation scenarios, operational requirements deny the application of standard acoustic positioning techniques, posing additional challenges to the localization problem. This paper presents a novel underwater localization solution, implemented for the ¡VAMOS! project, based on the combination of raw measurements from a short baseline (SBL) array and an inverted ultrashort baseline (iUSBL). An extended Kalman filter (EKF), fusing IMU raw measurements, pressure observations, SBL ranges, and USBL directional angles, estimates the localization of an underwater mining vehicle in 6DOF. Sensor bias and the speed of sound in the water are estimated indirectly by the filter. Moreover, in order to discard acoustic outliers, due to multipath reflections in such a confined and cluttered space, a data association layer and a dynamic SBL master selection heuristic were implemented. To demonstrate the advantage of this new technique, results obtained in the field, during the ¡VAMOS! underwater mining field trials, are presented and discussed.

2019

ISEP/INESC TEC Aerial Robotics Team for Search and Rescue Operations at the euRathlon 2015

Authors
Sousa, P; Ferreira, A; Moreira, M; Santos, T; Martins, A; Dias, A; Almeida, J; Silva, E;

Publication
Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems: Theory and Applications

Abstract
This paper presents the results from search and rescue missions performed with the aerial robot OTUS in the the context of the ISEP/INESC TEC aerial robotics team participation on the euRathlon 2015 robotics competition. The multi-domain (land, sea and air) search and rescue scenario is described and technical solution adopted is presented with emphasis on the perception system. The calibration of the image based system is addressed. Results from the operational missions performed are also discussed. The aerial autonomous vehicle was able to successfully perform multiple tasks from the aerial reconnaissance and 3D mapping to the identification of leaking pipes, obstructed passages and missing workers. The system was validated a realistic operational scenario and won the Grand Challenge in cooperation with land and marine robotics partner teams. This challenge was the first time that a real time collaborative team of aerial, land and marine robots was deployed successfully in a search and rescue mission. © 2018 Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature

2019

3D UNDERWATER MINE MODELLING in the ¡vAMOS! PROJECT

Authors
Bleier, M; Almeida, C; Ferreira, A; Pereira, R; Matias, B; Almeida, J; Pidgeon, J; Van Der Lucht, J; Schilling, K; Martins, A; Silva, E; Nüchter, A;

Publication
ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences

Abstract
The project Viable Alternative Mine Operating System (¡VAMOS!) develops a novel underwater mining technique for extracting inland mineral deposits in flooded open-cut mines. From a floating launch and recovery vessel a remotely-operated underwater mining vehicle with a roadheader cutting machine is deployed. The cut material is transported to the surface via a flexible riser hose. Since there is no direct intervisibility between the operator and the mining machine, the data of the sensor systems can only be perceived via a computer interface. Therefore, part of the efforts in the project focus on enhancing the situational awareness of the operator by providing a 3D model of the mine combined with representations of the mining equipment and sensor data. We present a method how a positioning and navigation system, perception system and mapping system can be used to create a replica of the physical system and mine environment in Virtual Reality (VR) in order to assist remote control. This approach is beneficial because it allows visualizing different sensor information and data in a consistent interface, and enables showing the complete context of the mining site even if only part of the mine is currently observed by surveying equipment. We demonstrate how the system is used during tele-operation and show results achieved during the field trials of the complete system in Silvermines, Ireland. © 2019 Copernicus GmbH. All righhts reserved.

2018

?VAMOS! Underwater Mining Machine Navigation System

Authors
Almeida, J; Ferreira, A; Matias, B; Lomba, C; Martins, A; Silva, E;

Publication
2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)

Abstract